If you’re finding it stressful while working from home, if you’re feeling less productive and more anxious… know that these 6 Ways To Reduce Your Stress While Working From Home, can and will help you!
The best part, they’re easy to fit into your working from home day!
Set up your workstation properly.
You might think this working from home is a short-lived thing, and even if it is, it’s important to set up your work area properly. If it’s going to be your new normal then it’s even more important to get the setup right.
We’ve been working from home for the last 7 years and trust us, a poor workstation leads to back pain, neck pain, headaches, bad posture and low vibe feelings. The best part, it doesn’t take much investment or effort to set it up correctly.
If you’re on a laptop but don’t have a constant work area (we both don’t, the kitchen table or bench are our areas haha) all you need is a blue tooth keyboard and mouse. You can find pretty cost-effective versions, or like us, get the Apple (yes, we are Apple girls, always will be). You’ll also need an elevated laptop stand or 4-5 chunky books. This will allow the screen to be at eye level and the keyboard at a 90-degree angle for your arms. This set-up will reduce your risk of tech neck, and help with less back and neck pain. You’ll experience less physical stress and more productivity. Boom.
Take regular breaks.
You’re allowed to get up from your desk and actually, it will more than likely lead to better quality work. It’s simply unnatural and terrible for your body and mind to sit in front of a computer or at a desk all day. You have the blessing of working in a new environment with fewer people around, so if you used to be one of those people who never left and even ate your lunch in front of your screen, now is the time to make a change. If you felt the pressure and judgement of others when you got up for a break (which is ridiculous FYI), make the most of it!
It’s time to schedule breaks every 20-30 minutes. And obviously, don’t get up and move to another screen for social media, stand up and do some stretches or sit in the sunshine for 5 minutes, jump up and down 100 times, drink a big glass of water, spend 2 minutes focusing on the breath alone, breathing in and out slowly. Do one of these things, and then get back to your desk for another productive 30 minutes.
Make a schedule.
Speaking of scheduling breaks, schedule the whole day (of course make it flexible). When we first started working from home we didn’t even set a start time, so we ended up starting at 7:30 am and then working through to 5-6 pm! Too long! And for us, it wasn’t necessary.
We know some types of work may demand long hours but often you could be more productive in a shorter amount of hours if you planned it better.
Schedule in start and end times. Schedule your lunch break and other breaks too. Write your to-do lists, tick them off. Have ongoing projects that you can go back to in downtime. The key to less stress is feeling productive but not overwhelmed and this is what a schedule does. It allows you to easily monitor what you achieved but also allows you to let go of the overwhelm as there is a plan of attack.
10 minutes of movement.
Movement is one of the best ways to let go of stress. It releases feel-good hormones, it helps you move through a bad mood and it in fact makes you feel more energised. Even if it’s just a 5-10 minute workout! You will feel better after a dose of movement.
Lunchtime workouts not only break up your workday but also increase your afternoon energy and enthusiasm. Instead of 3:30itis, you’ll be less stressed and more productive with a bonus workout ticked off!
If you don’t want to get sweaty, do a beautiful 10-minute slow-flow Yoga class. Not only will this welcome the good feels but you’ll also release tension in your neck and shoulders. Ahhh, it feels better even talking about it!
This 10 minute online Yoga class for tight hips is especially good for you if you sit a lot. Try it out!
But if you’re in the mood to move and sweat we have the class for you! Try this Pilates Booty Workout, it’s just 4 minutes! Yes, you will feel it in just 4 minutes! If you just want to move, pop on some music, dance, jump, skip, squat… move!
Set up meetings, zoom calls, or in person.
If you’re in a lockdown and usually have in-person meetings, set up your zoom calls. We know tech and zoom can be annoying when they don’t work, dodgy internet can be frustrating BUT try not to look at them as an annoying thing that disrupts your day. Instead, use the conversations and interaction to give you an energy boost.
If your work has moved to home but you’re not in lockdown, go out and meet colleagues or other people who WFH. Go for coffee, or meet for a working lunch. Carla and I do this all the time. We love to work from home but we also love to get out of the home. The new environment, the new people (the baristas) get us out of our heads and often this is when good ideas flow in.
Working from home, especially if you live alone, can get really lonely and you can tend to internalise stress more, so be sure to set up these meetings and conversations.
Meditate, even just for 2 minutes!
When your mind is go-go-go and the work is never-ending, stress creeps in. The worst part is you begin to get used to that feeling of stress, in fact, you might feel like it helps you be more productive! If you’re at this stage, it’s best to take action now before you feel the negative impacts from stress (ie. burn out).
You’ve heard it before, meditation will help you calm the mind and release stress. Time sitting and breathing in meditation will allow you to be more focused and see things with more clarity. If the idea of sitting and meditating for 20 minutes every day actually creates more stress, then start with just 1 to 2 minutes. We love guided meditations and add a new one to the MerryBody App every month.
Last but not least, the bonus extra way to reduce your stress while working from home is to be self-compassionate. This working from home business might be new to you, your normal routine has had a big change, also there are more than likely other stresses involved too (hello pandemic has been going on for 2 years). Cut yourself some slack, show some kindness and understanding toward yourself. And if you need help to get through this time be sure to ask for help.
Emma + Carla
Ps. if you are looking for an online tool for your mind and body health check out MerryBody, our online Yoga, Pilates, and Meditation Membership. It’s the perfect way to help you get through working from home stresses. We have 10-minute classes that you can fit into your busy day. From slow flows to fast and sweaty cardio-based Pilates. There’s a weekly plan to keep you on track and we are there to help with accountability. If you’ve been searching for a refreshing way to move and exercise, sign up for your 7 day trial over here.